The playoff series of the year started tonight at the UC. The Bulls with the number one record, versus the second seed Heat in an Eastern Conference Finals match that will wind up in NBA history books, regardless of outcome.
The start of the game featured quick turnovers by the Bulls, and Miami did not let them go unpunished. The Heat displayed their energy and transition basketball early. Lucky for the Chicago, the Bulls were hitting contested jumpers early on, and were able to stay in the game throughout the fist half.After LeBron James went to the bench with two fouls, Miami was forced to find more activity from Joel Anthony and softy bigman, Chris Bosh.
Game 1 was the loudest the United Center has been all season long, with persistent fans, chants-a-many and a mob that went past the “bench”, there was absolutely no room for the Heat to get comfortable. Even Chicago native, Dwyane Wade started to look shell shocked, as the game went on. Taj Gibson made the highlight of the playoffs, by obliterating Wade on a poster dunk that will be seen for years to come. Gibson wasn’t finished, and had a put-back in the final minute to drop jaws for miles.
The Bulls kept pace, and saw Miami’s best efforts early on in this game. It wasn’t until near the 4th quarter, where the Bulls, behind Derrick Rose, erupted on both sides of the court.
Aparently, LeBron James lost sleep going into this game, but the refs had little or no interfearance with the outcome of this battle. The Heat had absolutely no excuses. The Bulls take Game 1 with a final of 103-82.
At the NBA post-game on TNT. Charles Barkley remarked on the Bulls defensive performance, giving them credit for “The best defensive performance” he has ever seen. A bit of an over-statement, but a compliment none the less.